RUMFORD — Local police investigating a suspected inadvertent hack of Monday night’s Regional School Unit 10 directors’ meeting said Tuesday they have identified an internet address of interest at a Rumford home.

The audio intrusion via Zoom included threats to district schools and racist and vulgar language, Superintendent Deb Alden said Monday night, prompting her to halt a boys basketball game in the Mountain Valley High School gym and close all schools Tuesday.

The intrusion occurred early on in the meeting, which was held in person at the high school and online, where there were 92 participants. Alden halted the meeting as soon as she and the majority of the 13 directors at the school realized the online link had been hacked. The Zoom connection was ended and the in-person meeting continued later that evening.

In a statement on its Facebook page Tuesday, the Rumford Police Department said its investigators, the RSU 10 information technology staff and a local internet service provider “worked collaboratively throughout the night and continue to do so throughout the day today to develop a number of leads, including identifying an address of interest of a home in Rumford, as well as a number of users located outside of the district.”

It said the “investigation thus far suggests that the incident was an online hack and that there is no evidence or information to suggest that the public is in any danger.

“Some of the conversation included vulgar language and a threat to cause violence at the schools within the district the following day at 10 a.m. The threat did not specify which school within the RSU 10 district would be involved,” the release said.

No arrests have been made and the investigation is continuing.

Schools are scheduled to reopen Wednesday.

A request Tuesday by the Rumford Falls Times for a link to the online recording of the meeting was denied by Alden and Brian Carrier, RSU 10 technology coordinator, because it is part of an ongoing criminal investigation, they said.

“We feel we were not targeted and hacked, but inadvertently hacked, as these users ended up in our meeting using vulgar language and making threats,” Carrier said. He said he is working with Zoom’s safety and security team “to look further into any logs and information they have available, pertaining to our meeting.”

Alden sent a letter to the RSU 10 community Tuesday apologizing for the intrusion, and said the district takes the safety of its schools, staff and students “very seriously.”

RSU 10 includes the towns of Rumford, Mexico, Roxbury, Buckfield, Hartford, Sumner and Hanover. The district’s seven schools are in Rumford, Mexico, Buckfield and Sumner.

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